Last Updated on December 10, 2022 by Aaron
Yes, cheddar cheese can be a healthy snack for dogs. That includes all types of cheddar cheese, from regular mild to sharp and extra-sharp varieties.
While cheese is not an essential part of a dog’s diet, it is high in protein and calcium, so a small amount can occasionally be offered as a treat. However, like with any food, moderation is key when it comes to feeding your pup cheddar cheese. Alternatively, look for low-fat varieties of cheese like ricotta or cottage cheese.
Too much cheese can cause gastrointestinal upset and lead to weight gain. It is important to note that some dogs may be lactose intolerant, which means they cannot digest dairy products like cheese. If your pup experiences digestive issues after eating cheddar cheese, it is best to avoid giving it to them in the future. Furthermore, we have a post previously about some cheddar brands and their respective lactose content you may want to check out.
How much is too much?
When offering cheddar cheese as a treat, it is best to do so in small chunks or slices and served as a treat no more than once or twice a week. It has to depend on size, weight, age, and health condition.
A good rule of thumb is to give them no more than one ounce per 20 pounds of body weight. For example, a tiny 10 lbs dog breed like Pomerania or Chihuahua can have roughly an ounce or less of cheddar serving per day. If you have large dogs, they may be able to handle more.
Make sure it is done in moderation and served as a special reward for good behavior. Avoid feeding your pup processed cheese snacks, such as string cheese and cheddar-flavored chips, as they are not as healthy and can contain spices or toxic ingredients, such as chives and onions. Check the label.
Many cheddar cheese is also high in sodium — which means salty! and dogs are quite sensitive to salt. Eating too much cheddar cheese can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and even seizures in some cases (1).
Choose the cheese block or wedge over pre-shredded cheese, spray cheese, or cheese spreads. These are highly processed with additives and preservatives that can be dangerous for your pup. It’s best to go for cheddar cheese that’s organic and all-natural made with 100% real cheese.
Overall, cheddar cheese can be an occasional treat for your pup as it contains beneficial nutrients like protein and calcium. Also, it’s best to avoid clothbound cheddar, blue cheddar, or varieties such as cave-aged and surface-ripened cheddar. These are having more mold which can pose uncertainties to your pup.